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General SF&F Chat > How do you use your "Currently reading" Shelf?

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message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris Doyle | 19 comments Bit random;

I tend to jump from book to book, not because a book is boring or I don't think I'll finish, there are just "so many books, so little time"

At what point do you place a book on you 'currently reading' shelve?

Do you use it as motivation to finish a book?

Do you let yourselves get deep into a plot before deciding?

Can you have too many books in that shelve?


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 18, 2016 01:13PM) (new)

I put a book on my currently-read the next time I get online after starting. (I have a never-finished shelf to move it to if I decide to abandon it.)

I usually have two books I'm actually reading on the currently-reading shelf (one text, one audio); but the shelf also tends to accumulate anthologies of short stories, because I usually just read one or two stories and then move on to a novel, then a short story from someplace else,... so it takes a long time to finish an anthology! (And I have one non-fiction on my currently-reading shelf that's been there since 2012!)


message 3: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments I put a book on my "Currently Reading" shelf as soon as I buy it, and i basically never let it get above 3 books, so there's no issue with the "buy lots of books and not read them" problem that some people seem to have.

I do not use the "want to read" shelf at all. That shelf is all in my mind and changes constantly.


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2177 comments Like G33z3r, I put them on 'currently-reading' when I am. Some can stay there for a while. Right now I have 2 books I'm actively reading & 3 that I'm picking at. 2 of those are short story books which I'm reading as their stories fall into the chronology of the series. The other is a short story book that's not doing much for me. I may get back to it eventually or it might wind up on my Did-not-finish shelf.


message 5: by Gary (last edited Jun 18, 2016 12:12PM) (new)

Gary Sundell | 203 comments I have 2 that I am actively reading Map of Bones (Sigma Force, #2) by James Rollins and Cat in an Alphabet Soup by Carole Nelson Douglas . I also have several that are in my currently reading category that are either major compilations like The Sword of Shannara Trilogy (Shannara, #1-3) by Terry Brooks and The Complete Sherlock Holmes and Tales of Terror and Mystery  by Arthur Conan Doyle as well as short story collections that contain stories in series that I am reading or will be reading.
Killer Beach Reads by Leslie Langtry and Cozy Christmas Capers by Gemma Halliday . Plus I have the next book I will be reading after I finish Map of Bones or Cat in an Alphabet Soup.

I try to keep the currently reading category as small as possible,
I update the percentage read or pages read as I go along.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) I put a book on my Currently Reading shelf as soon as I start reading it. I read about 7 books at a time from various genres - usually 10 pages or a chapter of each before I move onto the next. It helps keep me from getting too bored with a book and falling into a reading slump.

I don't use my CR shelf as motivation to finish a book. If I'm not motivated to finish it, I dump it and start something else. My CR shelf exists only to show my GR friends what I'm in the middle of.

I use my other shelves to keep track of books I want to read. "Want to Read" means I own it, and I created a "Wish List" shelf for books I'll buy when I find them on sale (I usually buy only used or deeply discounted books). I've got a "Maybe" shelf for books I'm not sure about but would consider buying/reading in the future.


message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris Doyle | 19 comments Me being a 'noob' as it where to the world of


message 8: by Chris (new)

Chris Doyle | 19 comments Me being a noob as it where to the world of good reads I do use the currently reading to spur me on,

I try to set rules like 'if I don't pick it up for a few weeks then I drop it into DNF; this was the case when reading Dune (forgive my sins), whereas I just can't face doing the same with the Lord of the rings novels which I haven't picked up for months (I have a massive, possibly creepy, obsession with LOTR mainly due to the films but am not enjoying the novels as much as I thought I would,

I suppose as I read more then the rules will become easier to enforce. Here's hoping.


message 9: by Michael (new)

Michael | 152 comments I tend to add a book as soon as I get a chance after I've started reading. I do tend to have more than one book on that shelf at a time but it sits for too long with no progress I'll usually move it back to me "want to read" shelf until I can get back to it.


message 10: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) I only add books in there if I already start reading them or one day before (and committed to read the day after).
Only three maximum, mostly one. sometimes two if one is nonfiction and the other is fiction. or the one is a group read and the other personal.
I sometimes have a currently-reading book for months and it is ok.


message 11: by Aidan (new)

Aidan Reid (aidanjreid) | 4 comments I'm relatively new to Goodreads and use the 'currently reading' as the literal meaning! I really only ever focus on one book at a time. I have a list that I pick at (The BBC Big Read Top 100 Books of All Time), where I choose my next one and add to the list - but only when I've finished my current read. Perhaps I'm a bit 'neat' that way.


message 12: by Tani (new)

Tani | 52 comments I'm a bit of a butterfly in my reading. I often have a lot of books going. Baseline is that I'll have one at work, one audiobook for my commute, one regular read, one non-fiction, one comic, and one manga. So six. But then life happens, and I end up with a lot more. Right now, for example, I have 14. I'm not terribly comfortable with that as a number, so right now, looking at the number of books on my currently-reading list is definitely a motivator for me to go and work on something. I'd really like to get it back down a bit.

Conversely, having that many books on my currently-reading list means that I'm a bit hesitant to add anything new to it. Usually, I would add them as soon as I get a chance. Sometimes, I'll even add them before I start them, knowing that they're the next thing I pick. Right now, I might read a volume of comics without adding it to my currently-reading list at all, just so I don't have to admit to myself that I've picked something else up. ;)

So yeah, I would say that I can definitely have too many books on that shelf, but that when I hit that point, I'm more motivated to get them off it.


message 13: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 329 comments I try to keep it under 10 total. I read different books in different settings- in the car, walking the dog, on my phone, etc. so that's why I have multiple.

Currently, 3 of the 8 books on my CR shelf are honestly DNF, but I leave them on there as motivation to restart them.

I try to use the To Read shelf sparingly, not because I don't like it or keep it all in my head, but because it's unwieldy. If I get above about 40 books, I can't remember how many books of which kind I have on there. Because of that, I tend to keep written To Read lists by category elsewhere.


message 14: by Natalie (last edited Jun 24, 2016 09:57AM) (new)

Natalie (haveah) | 123 comments At what point do you place a book on you 'currently reading' shelve?
As soon as I actually start it. When I buy it or check it out of the library- it goes in Want To Read.

Do you use it as motivation to finish a book?
No. There have been several books that were downgraded back to Want To Read, because I need to give them more attention than I was capable of doing at the time.

Do you let yourselves get deep into a plot before deciding?
No. If it's not holding my attention and I just need to focus more- it goes back in my Want To Read pile. If it's just not good- I make the decision on if I want to trudge through it or not. If not- it goes on my Not Finishing shelf. I used to feel bad about not finishing books, but not anymore.

Can you have too many books in that shelf?
I try not to go over ten. In fact- I will often pare down to five or less.


message 15: by J.C. (new)

J.C. Cauthon (cauthonj) | 6 comments I use my "Currently Reading" shelf to keep up with the 7 to 10 books that I am reading at any given time. Most books never make that shelf, though. Certain books, I can pick up in the afternoon once my chores are done, and I'll have it read before I go to sleep, which means that those books never make the "Currently Reading" shelf but go straight to "Read."

Some books stay on my Currently Reading shelf for months, however. I don't like abandoning books, so I will not allow myself to pare them from my reading list unless I seriously would rather gouge my eyes out with a dull spoon than read another word of that book. Otherwise, the book stays on that list until I finish it.

My Want to Read pile is dangerously growing out of control (I haven't even added my last four book acquisitions to Goodreads yet).


message 16: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2567 comments My currently reading shelf is used for exactly that, books I'm currently reading and they go on the shelf as soon as I start it. What I normally have on that shelf is

1 - One physical paper-based book I'm reading when I'm at home.
2 - One ebook on my Kobo that I read while I commute to work

And that's where I try to stop, I don't want to have too many going on at the same time. But lately I've also been adding

3 - An anthology. I find I can't read a whole bunch of short stories one after another, but one a day is really nice
4 - A technical book or two for work, which at the moment aren't as relevant to what I'm actually doing at work right now, so the two I've got now have been just sitting around for months. I'm like JC above me though, I think I DNF a book maybe a handful of times in my life, I always feel like I need to finish it if I start. So yes, you could say it is a reminder to finish them one day.

And as an exception this month, I added the Belgariad after joining this group, knowing I'll be starting it very soon anyway so no point leaving it in my To Read shelf.

So at the moment I have 6 when I would normally have no more than 2-3. Will see if this is a new trend or just a temporary quirk.


message 17: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 10, 2016 05:22PM) (new)

Andrea wrote: "3 - An anthology. I find I can't read a whole bunch of short stories one after another, but one a day is really nice..."

I have the same issue with anthologies & short story magazines. I find there is a threshold to getting started on a story, whether it's a novel or a short story. I start reading, knowing nothing about the story. So your energy is focused on figuring out where you are? (When you are?) Who's in the story? What are they doing? And, Why do I care? And until I can answer that last question, there's no real momentum to my reading the story. (I've fallen asleep on page 2 of more than one story.)

That threshold effort seems to be about the same whether it's a short story or novel; the differences is once I've crossed the threshold with a novel and it captures my interest, I'm set for 300-600 pages or more. Whereas with an anthology, I have to re-motivate myself every 20-50 pages.

On the other hand, I never seem able to stick to just one anthology. It's sort of like being a picky eater, I read a few of the stories by authors I like, and then another shiny anthology comes along and I start cherry picking stories from that one, too. The result is quite an accretion of anthologies on my currently-reading list :)


message 18: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments G33z3r wrote: "So your energy is focused on figuring out where you are? (When you are?) Who's in the story? What are they doing? And, Why do I care? And until I can answer that last question, there's no real momentum to my reading the story."

That's quite interesting. For me with an anthology it is less those questions and more a matter of settling into the author's voice and style. So i can cruise through an anthology the same way as a novel, as long as it is all by one author. Different authors would require recalibrating for each story.


message 19: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2567 comments Now that you mention it, I think the recalibration is part of the problem with reading an anthology through in one shot. Plus, invariably an anthology will consist of some good stories, and some, well, not so good ones, with at least one terribly disturbing, depressing story mixed in (just read one about a unicorn infested with parasites, ugh!)


message 20: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 710 comments I don't use it. I leave books on "To Read" until read, and then they go on "read-not-reviewed" until and if I review them.


message 21: by Gary (new)

Gary Gillen | 102 comments I stick with reading one book at a time. The other books I put on my currently reading shelf are ones that I plan to read next. Whenever I see that a book has been chosen to be discussed, I will add it. Also, in the first book of a paperback series there is usually the first chapter from book #2, so I can't help myself from reading it and putting it on my currently reading shelf.


message 22: by Mike (last edited Sep 13, 2016 03:22PM) (new)

Mike (mikekeating) | 242 comments I usually only am reading one book at a time. At most, I will be reading one book physically and one on my Kindle.


message 23: by Iksei (new)

Iksei | 23 comments I add to this shelf when I start reading, the number goes between 4 to 5 at the time, usually a collection of stories that I've been reading forever, one that might be too heavy or big to carry so I just read it at home, a portable paperback that I can carry everywhere, other I keep in my office, some ebook that is the one I took more time reading... I try to not to leave none of those books forgotten for long, but always happens with some of them


message 24: by Fisch (new)

Fisch | 3 comments I use it for all my unread books that I own, I tend to always have at least 30 on the list as I get a little antsy if my supply drops too low haha.


message 25: by William (new)

William King | 5 comments G33z3r wrote: "I put a book on my currently-read the next time I get online after starting. (I have a never-finished shelf to move it to if I decide to abandon it.)

I usually have two books I'm actually reading ..."


I absolutely like the idea of having a never-finished/not completed folder. I will do this.


message 26: by Dehric (new)

Dehric O'Mordha | 2 comments I put the "committed" read on there and the one im just flirting with at the moment. Im a fan of the short story anthology, so having one of those alongside the current novel is always fun.

Question i thought of today, nerdy i know, do any of you have a perpetual reader that stays on your shelf? Religious folks devotions, positive affrimations, daily kind of books. I dip into the tao on most days, and considered throwing it on the currently reading shelf.


message 27: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2177 comments I often put reference books on my currently-reading shelf & they can spend months there. For instance, I skimmed through most of The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook concentrating on the various fibers I'm most likely to spin. It required short study sessions, rereading sections, & some note taking. Once I was through it fully, I marked it as "read", but I still pull it off the shelf occasionally. I don't mark it as "currently-reading" then, even if I keep it out for a few days which I did just before the wool festival last spring.


message 28: by Randy (new)

Randy Harmelink | 910 comments These days, I only add books to the "Currently Reading" shelf via my Kindle. On the "About the book" page, there is a link I can hit to indicate I'm just starting the book.

I also move things from "Currently Reading" to "Read" by giving the book a rating at the end of the Kindle book.

Those both help me to set the proper starting and ending dates.


message 29: by Snickers (new)

Snickers | 7 comments My Currently Reading shelf mirrors the stack of books on my nightstand. In bed is my favorite place to read and I always have 2-7 books there. I kind of skip around from one to another - read a chapter or two of this book, a few pages of a different one the next night. Each book I finish goes on my bookshelf and there's usually several waiting to replace it. I try not to let the number of books get too high or none of them will get finished.


message 30: by Davy (new)

Davy | 47 comments I just take one book with me on the commute at any given time. Although last time, when I was halfway through Knife of Dreams, I read a shorter book (A Darker Shade of Magic) inbetween. So for once, I had 2 books in my Currently Reading. After finishing KoD however, I made a private note to remind me that it did NOT take me 8 weeks to finish that book :)

Also, when a book doesn't hold my interest, it goes on my "tried-but-failed" list, which is my name for DNF.


message 31: by nmm (new)

nmm (nihilisticmadman) If I start a book I generally just add it to the shelf and then just remove it when I'm done. Don't think the number of books on there matters as it's mostly a helper for you.

I never used to use bookmarks but now that I'm often reading more than a single book during a period of time I just update my shelf to keep track of the page I'm on for the ones I read less than others.

When I'm finished a book I marked it as done using the shelf user interface and generally rate it too.

I think in general one shouldn't stress too much about how that interface should be used. It's a helper to you so simply use it how you want to use it. After it's true that other users can see that but mostly it is for you and there is no competition going on so even if one book progress slowly it doesn't really matter.


message 32: by Randy (new)

Randy Harmelink | 910 comments Since the Amazon partnership, my Kindle is now more integrated. It is what moves things onto and off my currently reading shelf.

When I start a book, I indicate it on the Kindle and it moves it onto the currently reading shelf.

When I rate a book at the end, it sends the rating to both GoodReads and Amazon and then moves the book from the currently reading shelf to the read shelf.

However, I do have a few books I stopped reading, so they remain on the currently reading shelf. At some point, I will manually move them to a DNF shelf.


message 33: by NekroRider (new)

NekroRider | 321 comments Basically anything I have started reading (or at least read more than a chapter or two of) and haven't finished is on my Currently Reading shelf. I don't really like to read more than one book at a time, so even though I've got three on there now I'm only actively reading one. The other two I'll get back to at some other point when I'm back in the mood for some non-fiction. But yeah, basically I use the Currently Reading shelf for anything I started reading and didn't complete, whether I'm actively reading them at the moment or not. That way it also reminds me of books I may have read for a while but stopped temporarily for whatever reason (usually that happens with non-fiction rather than fiction).


message 34: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 203 comments I have 6 books on my currently reading shelf. 4 are anthologies including the complete Sherlock Holmes, the first volume of Louis Lamour's collected short stories, and two mystery short story books. When I am between novels, I will frequently knock out a short story from one of those volumes. The other two books are tye novels I am actively reading.


message 35: by Darren (new)

Darren | 26 comments I put a book on currently reading when I genuinely believe I will finish it. For most, this is the moment I'm on goodreads after starting the book. For some, like Gardens of the Moon, which I have tried and failed to work through more than once, I never put them on their again until I finally finish them. Some books stay on there for years, but on December 31st, most books malingering in that shelf get one-starred.


message 36: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 7 comments More than one book on the currently read shelf? I don't understand ...

I start a book, typically at home after a day or two break from the last book and I read it through. If I can't find it in me to finish it, then I score it, usually put a little review note for myself why and where I stopped, and move on to the next book.

I have only gone back to a book after stopping it once, Snow Crash, and its because I stopped reading books for a while, and it just happened to be what I was reading when it all happened.

If the story isn't driving me enough to keep my full attention, I just won't finish it, and its rarely ever happened, so much good material out there, especially if you just give it more of a chance to pull you in.


message 37: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2177 comments Ivan wrote: "More than one book on the currently read shelf? I don't understand ...."

I have at least 2 going because I'm listening to one & reading the other in print of some sort. I can't read the print while driving or doing chores, but that's no excuse not to 'read'.
;)


message 38: by Ian (new)

Ian Hardee Chris wrote: "Bit random;

I tend to jump from book to book, not because a book is boring or I don't think I'll finish, there are just "so many books, so little time"

At what point do you place a book on you '..."


I tend to cycle books. I might have a real gritty mystery and a Discworld novel on there at the same time, because I usually read at least 2, sometimes three books at a time, and then I just read them as I'm feeling. So I might go a week without reading one of them, and then read it twice and then put it down for another week, but I'm still reading it.

I'm working through Wheel of Time for the first time currently, That's some dense material. Great, but there so much to keep up with and remember and so much reading between the lines that it gets kind of exhausting, so I usually pair it with something lighter as well, in case I need a break. So. I could have anywhere from 1 to 5 books on that shelf at any given time.


message 39: by Roger (new)

Roger Ian wrote: "Chris wrote: "Bit random;

I tend to jump from book to book, not because a book is boring or I don't think I'll finish, there are just "so many books, so little time"

At what point do you place a..."


This seems like a good idea, there are times when I'm reading a book that I enjoy but I just don't want to read it that night because maybe it's too dark or it's light reading and I'm in the mood for something with more substance. I'll have to try this out...


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